A prospective student of the Community College of Baltimore County sued school officials in federal court this week on the grounds that the college rejected him because of his religious beliefs.
Jenkins’s lawsuit says that during his entrance interview with the radiation-therapy program at CCBC, he was asked what is most important to him, and he answered “my God.”
College officials rejected Jenkins shortly after, and he asked the program director for an explanation. The program director told Jenkins by e-mail that other students had higher grade-point averages, and cited “other reasons” for rejecting him.
“I understand that religion is a major part of your life and that was evident in your recommendation letters, however, this field is not the place for religion,” program director Adrienne Dougherty wrote. “We have many patients who come to us for treatment from many different religions and some who believe in nothing. If you interview in the future, you may want to leave your thoughts and beliefs out of the interview process.”
The Baltimore Sun contacted CCBC spokeswoman Hope Davis, who said she couldn’t comment on the case but emphasized that the college is committed to diversity.
“We have so many people from so many different backgrounds and so many different cultures,” Davis said. “Just to think that we would discriminate based on religion . . . it’s just not something that we do.”
CCBC’s attorney Peter S. Saucier said the college seeks applicants “motivated by an individual passion in the field” and that Jenkins pursuing the program for the sake of his faith “was not a good answer.” Jenkins is being represented by the American Center for Law and Justice.
Saucier also noted that Jenkins has a criminal record, including drug and theft charges, and that his criminal background would make finding a radiation-therapy job in Maryland difficult.